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Rare book thieves in India

The National Library of India has created a five-person committee to investigate charges that rare books and manuscripts are missing from their collection. The Hindu, India’s national newspaper, reports that the Ministry of Cultural Affairs asked library authorities for a report of their holdings after a survey conducted by the auditor general back in January concluded that “many rare books and manuscripts were missing from the rare books section.”

This came as surprise to R. Ramachandran, director in charge of the National Library, who refuted the charge, saying, “there are no rare books or manuscripts missing from our library.” However, as The Hindu points out, the National Library hasn’t done any inventory on its stock in the past 25 years.

The National Library’s rare books collection contains thousands (give or take a few) of government documents, forgein government documents, manuscripts, 17th-century maps, newspapers (including Hicky’s Bengal Gazette, India’s first paper), and more.